OldGrowth (2830) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - OCT 14, 2005
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle, from trade with JCW. 2005 vintage. Great nose, sweet. Tangerine, pineapple, peach. Clean orangy red color. Small head that faded to nothing. Sweet bitter flavors, like aroma with grapefruit creepin in. Thick body, creamy mouthfeel, Sticky sweet finish. ABV heat shows up. FíN great, I can see why some might not like the ABV right now, but itísa damn near perfect beer for me. Ihad this at the Blind Tiger a couple years back. I didnít take noted of it at the time though. I seem to remember it being more carmelly, than the fruity i get now. Still WOW. Thanks again JCW.
Odeed (1796) - Bakersfield, California, USA - OCT 13, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2005 (2005 bottle poured into a stone r.i.s. glass.i could smell the hops right after popping the top)the behemoth poured a clear crimson red with tiny little bubbles floating to the top.what little head i got was white and soon swam to the sides of the glass.the aroma was dominated by grapefruit/pine hops with some brown sugar and molasses to follow.the first sip was SUPER thick and slid down the back of my throat.talk about a mouthfeel!the flavor was again dominated by grapefruit/pine hops.what followed was sweet candy,molasses,and scotch.as far as mouthfeel and "hopness" its all there.its just a little one-sided.maybe some age would bring the malts out a bit.as this is a barleywine and not a double i.p.a.
1FastSTi (3341) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 9, 2005
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Poured from a 2005 vintage bomber, I decided to undertake one of these myself. As I uncapped the bottle, all I could think was "Holy grapefruit hops, Batman!" I then began by pouring some into my snifter. I am delighted by the dark ruby red body. A thin white head tops the beer but quickly diminishes to a near nothingness. A nice lacing adorns the glass. So, I dip my nose inside the rim of the snifter to get a full dose of the aroma. Citrus, sweet spruce, oranges, ever-so-light cheesecake, caramel, and light brown sugar make up the majority of the aroma. So, I decide to jump into tasting. Iím met by a superbly balanced hop/malt. Trying to start with the flavor was a mistake because all I can think of is the palate. It is very smooth, creamy, velvety, medium-full body with a clean refreshing feel. So, back to the flavor. I am enticed with a similarity to strawberry wine. Now, imagine that doused with hops. Citrus, grapefruit mostly with thoughts of pineapple sits atop the tons of what I suspect is amarillo hops making the strawberry flavor. Thereís a nice caramel sweetness that fills out the flavor. More on the palate... after drinking more of this, it comes off as dry. I would love a massive dose of Maris Otter malts in this. I think thatíd have the potential to make this truly "great".
TheEnemy (562) - Chicago, USA - OCT 8, 2005
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 1, 2006 22oz bottle, 2005 vintage.
Dark ruby copper liquid forms an off-white head on pour that doesnít last long save for the tiny rim of bubbles that remain. Rather straight-forward, unsubtle aroma of Northwest hops like a double IPA: very piney, citrusy, spicy and a bit tart. Would have liked some malt in the aroma. After sniffing it I feared this beer would basically be Cascade and/or Centennial hops reduced to liquid form. Thankfully it wasnít. While the NW hops play a prominent role in the flavor with an abundance of their characteristic bitter, spicy, floral and citrus attributes, they are well balanced by lots of sweet caramel malt. Exceptionally smooth palate for a beer this sweet -- not sticky at all. I donít care much for the liberal use of Cascade/Centennial hops for this style of beer but Three Floyds does it better than anyone else. This is a loving tribute to its British forbears while giving it a distinctly American flavor. Nice stuff that should probably be revisited after some aging. Agreed with heemer that the cost is not justified but 3F knows they can charge a left testicle (which is precisely what they do in this case) and people will still line up. The free market will do its thing, rational or not..<P>RE-RATE July 2006: Wow, what a difference a few months makes. This stuff is aging phenomenally well. The rough alcohol and sharp bitterness have both settled down, providing a smooth warming alcohol presence and a suave tobbaco-leaf spicy bitternes. I wasnít sure if a Three Floyds barleywine wouldnít be too aggressive when I first tried this stuff; now I know that a mere bit of patience is all that is required to bring out the best in this brew and make it a fine barleywine.
<P>Original Rating: Aroma: 6; Appearance: 4; Flavor 8; Palate: 5; Overall Impression: 16; Score: 3.9<P>
heemer77 (5148) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - OCT 7, 2005
3.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: APR 25, 2008 From a 2005 release bottle one week later. Very dark ruby body with a thin slightly yellowish head. The aroma is obviously Three Floydís. There is orange peel, pine and flowers. Also notes of caramel. This a massive beer. There is also some tart leathery character here. The taste is caramel with massive cola and pine. There are also cherries and some some subtle vanilla. You get an after taste of grapefruit. As I drink more and it warms, it irritates me. I am burping up pine resin and some funky nasty tree bark. Not my thing. I think that this big bad boy would benefit from a few years of aging. It is only ok now. but a little too in your face. How is this beer worth $15? I am still not sure what others are seeing in this brew.
temporrari (387) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - OCT 3, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
UPDATED: MAY 22, 2009 2005 Bottle. This beer is one of 3 things; A) Not the same beer as the draft version that propelled it to the top 20. B) Too young to be drinking now. C) Just crazy over-rated. Pours a brilliant copper color. Aroma is very hoppy, real floral piney and citrus. All the 3F characteristics are here. Flavor is hoppy at first, becoming quite sweet once you really get into it. Iíve had so many better tasting barley wines. Unbalanced, doesnít even taste like a barley wine. I know the style itself is fairly broad, but still. The mouthfeel is certainly not thin, but itís not chewy and juicy, and thatís how I expect a BW to be. Alcohol is present, never overpowering but definately there especially when it warms up. Nothing to rave about at all. I would normally not mention the price as part of a rating, and it does not affect my numbers, but this isnít worth $15 a bottle by any stretch. Not even close. Iíll check back in a year or two and see how this has aged. I think with some years, the flavors will probably come together, but who knows. They may not.
Well, after 4 years in the bottle letís see what has happened. Not quite as bad as I expected. You have to give it to 3F, they do make some quality products. However, this beer was built to be consumed fresh. Itís lost most of itís hops and sweetened right up. So, if you have a bottle of a newer batch, quit wasting time and open it. I wish Iíd just done that with my bottles.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 3, 2005
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2006 2001 batch on tap at the Three Floyds brewpub, January 2006.
Hazy, safire and caramel brown in color with a creamy, tan bubble pocked bowtie formation for the head. Aroma is a tale of subtle glory. Matured black cherries, raspberry fig chews, rosebuds, red and black currant mix, deep amaretto, black raspberry seeds, boysenberries and a tiny hint of alcohol. Lord is this flavor smooth. The epitome of an aged barleywine, upstaging Third Coast Old Ale and Old Horizontal. Ripe cream cheese qualities allude to raspberry cheesecake. More chewy than the fresh bottled batch. My wife would be revolted by my palate chomping. Patronizes the notion of a balanced equilibrium. Sticky malts and a supportive hop backdrop couldnít form a more symbiotic relationship. Finishes like a raspberry cream cheese danish and almond butter laden with juniper berries, free from all jovial qualities. Iíll be damned.
This was the Dr. Jekyll; the bomber was Mr. Hyde.
2005 bomber all to myself - fresh, October 2005.
Semi-syrupy pour to a translucent brass color, seemingly filtered, but with good reason. Dusty tan bubbles for the head and sexy legs on the side of my snifter throughout all 22-ounces of bliss. This is one hell of a nose: lavender, strawberries, grapefruit, star fruit, cherry cheesecake, amarillo and brown sugar. Flavor is a wham-bam bitch slap, and I turn the other cheek. Amaretto, cherry juice and liquefied brown sugar register first. My taste buds play host to a citric floral conference (pineapple, grapefruit and papaya.) Throw in a touch of cooking sherry for good measure and now the complexities are innumerable. Bitterness resounds while a caramel cadence drums up the malt support. Vinous, oozing and dehydrating, making me reach for more more more. The balancing act couldnít be more harmonious - in fact, itís perfect. Bitter and comprehensive finish spurring an aftertaste of raspberry crepes basking in maple syrup. Worth every penny, mile and minute to obtain. God bless.
Pailhead (5347) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - OCT 2, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle: Courtesy of temporrari and JCW. Very hoppy aroma. Smells like an IIPA. Aroma is loaded with citrus hops. Pours a transparent reddish-orange with an insignificant white head that only forms a ring around the edge of the glass. Like the aroma, tastes just like a IIPA. Quick initial sweet orange flavor is almost instantly dominated by a huge citrus hop finish. Very good, but needs some aging in order to resemble a Barley Wine as opposed to a IIPA.
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Multi-dimensional sweet caramel malts, tempered expertly by both a generous dose of bitter hops and pervasive alcohol fumes...really too young to rate properly yet. Talk to me in a year.
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - OCT 1, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
At the breweryís 2005 release: The only "flaw" that I could find with this barleywine is that it was so young, so I picked up enough bottles to be rerating this as they age, starting with Nick Floydís recommended six month mark. It poured a near headless golden brown. The aroma is a sweet caramel/toffee malt, somewhat fruity, with a trace of alcohol and a light citric and pine hop scent. This is thick and warm in the mouth, a pleasure to savor before swallowing. The flavor remains fruity (plums, cherries...) with caramel and butterscotch and alcohol and just a touch of hop bitterness. The hops come forward more in the finish, but the sticky (and alcohol laden) malt sweetness dominates. This is great stuff and it will be difficult to resist drinking some of the bottles that I intend to age.
<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/ShowPlace.asp? Floyds Brewing Company, Munster, IN<font size=-1>